Thanks, But No Thanks: 10 Things NOT to Buy My Toddler - Baby Chick
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Thanks, But No Thanks: 10 Things NOT to Buy My Toddler

It takes experience to figure out what not to buy a toddler for a present. Find out the top 10 things to tell others to forget about.

Published February 10, 2021 Opinion

If you’re a parent, you know the constant struggle of creating the perfect toddler gift idea for the aunts, grandparents, friends, and the rest of your family to get your toddler for any gift-giving holiday. It’s hard enough deciding what you want to get them yourself, and having to dish up options for other people is even more challenging. Having that conversation is tough — do we ask for something they need? Something they want? You start scouring your social feeds to land on something that will benefit babe while also, in some ways, helping mom and dad. But what about what not to buy your toddler? We’ve got 10 things you don’t want to ask for, for any holiday, for any reason because they will not only drive you crazy but will probably give no benefit at all to yourself or your toddler.

10 Things NOT to Buy My Toddler

It’s tough enough telling people what they can buy your child for their birthday or Christmas, but have you thought about what you’d prefer they didn’t buy? Here are our top 10 things to ask people not to buy your toddler under any circumstances.

1. Instruments

This is a given; you should not buy my toddler any instrument. Unless you’re coming with them to instruct them on how to use them properly and give them the potential to join the local orchestra, they can stay out of my house. I’m all for creative expression and bringing up babies and toddlers around music, but our ears are still recovering from months (or years) of the screams and cries of a baby, so give us a break here.

2. Arts and Crafts Supplies (Especially Ones With Glitter)

What did I ever do to make you hate me and my house so much? If you’re not pairing a craft gift with a Roomba that circles the play table while we play with this arts and crafts kit, please return it to the store.

3. Magic Growing Water Toys

For those of you who may not be familiar with these, they can be anything from a pet snake to a dinosaur egg. You submerge them in water for 24-72 hours and wait patiently as they double, then triple their size. They may even turn into something else altogether. I know what you’re thinking, But that sounds like so much fun! Think again. These little things exude a smell like nothing you’ve smelt before. Think dumpster fire mixed with swamp water, which is what the water it sits in turns into after the allotted time. When it’s finished its transformation? The toy comes out slimy, stinky, and unusable. Sounds like fun, right?

4. Any FurReal Pets

Of course, a real pet of any kind is even worse, but I think most people avoid giving that kind of commitment for a gift. FurReal Pets, though? Just as bad. They give children false hope, thinking that if they take care of this stuffed chihuahua that survives off double-A batteries, their parents will eventually reward them with a real one. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have this conversation. It’s best to hold off until you think you’re prepared to welcome a real-life pet.

5. Slime

Do you enjoy lathering your kids’ hair in coconut oil and hoping you don’t have to cut a chunk out? How about rubbing vinegar into your brand-new rug repeatedly until your fingers bruise? If your answer is yes, then ask for all the slime. If your answer is a hard no, then this is an item not to buy your toddler, and maybe the idea should be left at the door.

6. Ball Pit

Two words: balls everywhere. You’re not alone if this doesn’t sound like a good time. They are also quite the furniture piece and require ample space to put them in, which leaves most homes looking like a McDonald’s PlayPlace. They’re a tough cleanup, and I can promise those balls will not be contained inside the pit for long. It’s a gift definitely not to buy my toddler.

7. Clothing

Not only is this the least fun for any toddler to open up on Christmas morning, but choosing clothes without consulting a parent on their children’s style or size is never a good idea. Every child’s parent has their style for their kids. Unless your input is strongly considered, you’ll want to leave this off the list.

8. Magic Sand

The phrase “easy clean up” that most of these packages boast couldn’t be farther from the truth. This stuff gets everywhere: between the cracks in your hardwood, under the couch, on the bottoms of everyone’s feet. When it comes to magic sand, you’re usually safe if you keep it to outdoor play alone, but even then, it usually finds its way back into your living room at some point.

9. Alphabet Foam Mats

At first glance, you may think this is an excellent gift. Finally, somewhere soft for my toddler to play and stop himself from slamming into my hardwood floors. Wrong. As soon as they figure out how fun it is to tear them apart, it’s game over. Goodbye to the days of it being a protective layer between the floor and your child; hello to the days where the pieces become swords and weaponry.

10. Stickers

Would you hire a 2-year-old to redesign your house completely? If the answer is no, don’t buy ANY 2-year-old a sticker kit. No matter how much you enforce it, you’ll find stickers all over your house: on walls, on tables, and sometimes on the family pet. Stickers aren’t fun for anyone except for the toddler running around with the pack, branding everything in sight.

Supporting imaginative play and fun interactive learning is extremely important, but there are many things to spark creativity in a toddler that is much more parent-friendly. Think of things like puzzles, Legos (one of my personal favorites), or even simpler ones like a coloring book can work wonders for young minds. Remember, you’re not alone if you want to be picky about what others want to give your child.

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Alina is a Journalism graduate and a mom blogger living in Ontario, Canada. She is also a wife and a mom to a 4-year-old little boy. She is most passionate… Read more

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